Core Exercises


Good core strength helps posture, alleviates aches and pains commonly associated with back problems and helps stabilise the body through nearly every movement that is made. Dancers, yoga practitioners and gymnasts possess amazing core strength as their disciplines call for it, and you don't necessarily see female gymnasts with six packs that men have, but they still can do incredible feats of strengths without the core muscles being seen.

There are so many different exercises to work the core muscles that you choose a series of your favourites targeting particular areas of your core. Some harder ones include V Ups and Headstand Leg Raises.

Here is a list of 19 core bodyweight muscle exercises;

2.Side Crunch
3.Double Side Crunch
4.Sit Ups
5.Reverse Crunch
6.Reverse Crunch Twists
7.Single Leg Circles
8.Russian Twists
9.Hip Twists
10.Double Crunch
11.Flutter Kicks
12.V Ups
13.Straight Leg Raises
14.Plank Ups
15.Side Plank Raises
16.Hanging Knee Raises
17.Headstand Leg Raises
18.Side Plank Twists (with Rotation)
19.Hanging Leg Raises

Here's the urbantricks Core Bodyweight Exercise Guide:

1) Crunch
Starting from the supine position where you are lying on your back, bring your feet in so that your knees are raised. Literally, all you do is crunch your abdominal muscles together whilst keeping much of your lower back on the ground. You won't be lifting yourself far off the ground, but you will definitely feel the muscles being worked despite the limited movement.

2) Side Crunch
Starting from the supine position with the knees raised, you crunch your abdominals and obliques by raising your upper body slightly to the side before lowering. Again, the whole torso shouldn't be moving off the floor, just the upper back.

3) Double Side Crunch
Start by balancing on the left glute with the torso and legs in the air, then balancing, slightly lower the torso and legs but without touching the floor, then crunch your abdominals and obliques by bringing your knees into your torso. Balancing alone works the muscles well without crunching.

4) Sit Ups
These are the original core exercises, and they're still great. You start off the supine position with your feet in so that your knees are raised and it helps if you tuck your feet under a chair or something just to prevent your feet from raising upwards during the movement. Then you sit up, and lower yourself back down. Depending on where you place your arms, you increase the intensity of the exercise, as if adding weight to it. Placing your hands straight up behind your ears will increase the intensity. Having your hands on your chest will lower the intensity in comparison.

5) Reverse Crunch
Instead of moving your upper body, in the reverse crunch, you move your legs to crunch your abdominal muscles. Starting from the supine position, have your knees raised so that it looks like your sitting on a chair. You then want to tuck your knees in towards your chest and crunch your abdominals.

6) Straight Leg Reverse Crunch Twists
Complements of Matyboy247 on youtube, his video describes a straight leg reverse crunch where instead of the legs being brought back towards the chest, the legs are angled slightly outwards.

7) Single Leg Circles

These were taken from pilates as the aim of pilates seems to be the strengthening of the core muscles. Again, from the supine position, you raise one leg straight up in the air, and then make a circle with them.

8) Russian Twists
You want from the top of the position if you just want to do the twisting movements. You clasp your hands together, and then you rotate your abdominal muscles by moving your hands from the left of you, to the right of you and so on.

9) Supine Hip Twists
Complements of, this exercise really targets the obliques and is pretty basic to do. Starting in the supine position with the knees raised up, take the feet off the floor, and then roll the hips so that the knees lower to the side but without touching the floor. Using the core muscles you want to roll the hips back up and bring the knees to the other side of you.

10) Double Crunch
This is composed of the normal crunch and the reverse crunch in one movement.

11) Flutter Kicks
From the supine position, all that one does it raise one leg up then lower and simultaneously raise the other leg then lower. This is done without your legs touching the floor and they should also be straight. It looks like your kicking the air.

12) V Ups
Starting from the supine position, your arms should be straight back next to your ears. You then lift your torso with your arms and your legs (which should be straight) in one simultaneous motion so that you create a V shape at the top of the movement.
(The video below shows a progression towards the V-Ups and an advanced form of them.)

13) Straight Leg Raises
Just like the reverse crunch but with straight legs.

14) Plank Ups
Planks are another isometric type exercise where you rest on your forearm and the balls of your feet whilst maintaining a plank-like body using your core strength to keep your straight. In Plank Ups, you raise your hips upwards and then lower them back into the plank position.

15) Side Plank Raises
Side Plank Raises start with the isometric exercise also called the side plank which is a challenge in itself. Start by lying on your side with your feet together and your forearm under you so that your upper body is already raised up from off the floor. You then raise your hips so that you form a straight side plank, then lower them without letting them touch the floor.

16) Hanging Knee Raises
Hanging from a bar or rings (anything really), you then bring your knees up towards your chest and then lower them again.

17) Headstand Leg Raises
As if headstands weren't a challenge in themselves already, in a headstand position, you lower your legs like a half pendulum, keeping them straight until you form a 90° angle. The legs are brought straight back up again and the motion is repeated.

18) Side Plank Twists (with Rotations)
Taking up the side plank position, you then take your free arm and tuck it through the gap between your body and the floor, twisting your torso as if threading a needle. You untuck/unthread your arm back into the side plank position to complete one movement.

19) Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging from a bar or rings (anything really), you then bring your straightened legs up so that you form a 90° angle before lowering them again.